The Hunger Games started out as a series of young adult books written by Suzanne Collins. The author stated that she was inspired to start writing the trilogy when she was channel surfing and images of reality TV started to blend with raw footage of the Iraq War.
Though some saw The Hunger Games as the new Twilight with a young female protagonist caught in a love triangle with two handsome young men who she cannot decide between, the book and films of The Hunger Games are about far more than the trials of young love.
The Hunger Games and its sequels are about far greater themes than Twilight and with Catching Fire and Mocking Jay on their way, the franchise is about to take a turn for the darker and far more distressing as revolution brews in the districts and war rears its ugly head. So what is The Hunger Games trilogy really all about?
The Hunger Games is a televised event where young people are forced into brutal competition with each other for the entertainment of the masses. Sound familiar? The likes of The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent may not force young people to take part and they may not be fighting for survival but the comparisons are clear. Katniss has to ensure that the wealthy audiences like her enough to send her gifts that help her through the games. She has to be constantly aware of her image and her actions as she needs the public to like her. All the while the people at home sit and stare at their screens enjoying the spectacle of young people fighting for their lives, without really caring for those that the television show chews up and spits out.
The people of the Districts, especially those of District 12 where Katniss is from, have nothing compared to those in the Capitol. Katniss and her fellow competitors fight in the Hunger Games to win some wealth for their districts and Katniss herself had more chance of being picked as a tribute due to her desire to feed her family with rice. The people in the Capitol on the other hand dress in the latest fashions, gorge themselves on fine food (and then vomit it back up so they can eat some more) and watch the likes of Katniss fight to the death for their own entertainment. The gap between rich and poor is clear to see and is an ever growing cause for concern in our own society.
The Hunger Games progresses from a story about a televised event to a revolution to a full blown war. By the final book Mocking Jay (split into two films) Katniss will be more than a competitor but a soldier and revolutionary icon. She has to overcome oppression from those that will try to keep the districts down and will use propaganda to convince the people to rise up and fight the Capitol with her. The morality of war and the ethics of not only Katniss’ action but also the Gale’s will be questioned and explored in the final thrilling part of the trilogy.
Don’t expect Twilight. The Hunger Games will test your head every bit as much as your heart.